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REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer French President Emmanuel Macron and wife Brigitte leave home before voting in the first of two rounds of parliamentary elections in Le Touquet, France, June 11, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer French President Emmanuel Macron shakes hands as he arrives in Le Touquet, on the eve of the first round of the parliamentary election, France June 10, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer French President Emmanuel Macron shakes hands as he arrives in Le Touquet, on the eve of the first round of the parliamentary election, France June 10, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Trogneux (C) leave their home on bicycles in Le Touquet, France, on the eve of the first round of the parliamentary election, June 10, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer French President Emmanuel Macron arrives at his home on bicycle in Le Touquet, on the eve of the first round of the parliamentary election, France June 10, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer French President Emmanuel Macron's wife Brigitte Trogneux leaves her home on bicycle in Le Touquet, France, on the eve of the first round of the parliamentary election, June 10, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer PARIS French voters cast their ballots on Sunday in the first round of a parliamentary election expected to give centrist President Emmanuel Macron the strong majority needed to carry out the far-reaching economic and social reforms he promises. The vote to elect the lower house's 577 members comes a month after Macron, a 39-year-old former banker with little political experience, defied the odds to win the presidency of the euro zone's second-largest economy. If, as polls project, Macron and his fledgling party win a commanding majority in next week's second round, it will be another blow for the mainstream parties on the right and left which failed to get a candidate into the presidential run-off. "We want a big majority to be able to act and transform France over the next five years," Mounir Mahjoubi, a tech entrepreneur running under Macron's Republic On The Move (LREM) banner told Reuters as he canvassed support in his northern Paris constituency ahead of the vote. Opinion polls forecast LREM and its center-right Modem allies will win at least 30 percent of votes on Sunday.

He points to bright spots like home improvement chains and off-price retailers like TJX Cos., which are still expected to have strong results. “Retail is not in any long-term danger,” Shay said, but “the pace of change is accelerating.” He says stores need to dramatically step up their investments in e-commerce. Department stores have pledged to do better and adapt, expanding their exclusive merchandise and beefing up their online services. But they and other clothing-dependent stores have struggled to prove themselves to shoppers. The clothing sector may be at a tipping point when it comes to online shopping for that category. Cooper Smith, an analyst at research firm L2, estimates that about 18 to 22 percent of clothing sales will be online this year. That’s a critical juncture. His research and that from firms like Boomerang Commerce shows that when online penetration in a merchandising category hits 20 percent, that’s when Amazon steps up its game to seek more of that market. Analysts say one example is what happened when consumer electronics hit that threshold around 2005, and the liquidation of chains like Circuit City followed.

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